Saying the city has already had to close two of its municipal water wells because of pollution, Bethany officials have gone to Oklahoma City federal court accusing two aerospace companies of pollution at the former Gulfstream manufacturing plant.
The suit was filed against Rockwell Automation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Gulfstream Aerospace based in Savannah, Georgia. Bethany contends the two are responsible for pollution from aircraft solvents, a large plume of which has been discovered in the groundwater at the former manufacturing plant located at Wiley Post Airport, 7400 NW 50. The suit alleges the pollution came from chemicals used to degrease aircraft parts and it has migrated from the former plant into city water wells in Bethany. It also says levels of solvents trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene exceed federal limits in the two wells shut down by the city.
“We don’t have any wells that are connected to our water supply now that are contaminated, but it’s headed that way if we don’t get it stopped,” said David Davis, Bethany’s city attorney in an interview with The Oklahoman.
The lawsuit contends that the loss of more water wells from the groundwater contamination “would result in a water supply crisis for Bethany and its customers.” The suit also alleges the two aerospace companies were fully aware of the pollution problem as far back as 2008 but did not notify the city until four years later.
Bethany wants to recover funds it has already spent on finding a new water supply.